Monday, February 28, 2011

Greek Salad

This is a different and extremely tasty take on green salad. It goes well with a variety of meats, and the different flavors and textures make each bite interesting!

Start by making the dressing: combine the oil, vinegar and lemon juice

in a small measuring cup. Add the oregano

and whisk well to combine.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl, and top with the sliced onion.

Add the diced cucumber,

then drizzle the dressing over the salad

and toss to coat. Let the salad "marinate" for 20-30 minutes. (The dressing is not overwhelmingly "wet" so the lettuce shouldn't wilt.) Add the tomatoes, olives,

and artichokes.

Then sprinkle with the feta cheese.

Find more recipes at Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, and Delectable Tuesday.

Greek Salad

1 - 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 small can ripe sliced black olives
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 cups assorted salad greens, washed, dried and chopped or torn (1/3 lb. mesclun mix)

Place lettuce mix in a large serving bowl and top with cucumber and onion.

Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing evenly over vegetables and toss. Let "marinate" for about 20 minutes. Add artichokes, tomatoes and olives, then sprinkle with feta cheese. Serves 6.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Noodle Casserole

The name of this dish is really not comprehensive enough. However, I felt that chicken/broccoli/cauliflower/cheesy noodle casserole was probably a bit too long. So there you have it. This is a delicious, creamy, veggie packed 'hot dish' that you will return to again and again. You likely have the ingredients on hand!

Cook the egg noodles in a large pot of boiling water, just til al dente. I like to drain the noodles over the frozen broccoli and cauliflower to help the veggies thaw a little.

Now, you just combine everything in a large bowl! Noodles, broccoli, cauliflower, chopped onion,

cream soup, sour cream,


and cheese.

Season with salt and pepper to your liking, then stir it up really well.(At this point, you could freeze this to serve later, if you so desire!) Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish (or equivalent).

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

This is nice served with some crusty bread and jam, and a winter fruit salad.

Find more recipes at It's A Keeper Thursday, Cooking Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Friday Food, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen and Fun with Food Friday.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

8 oz. egg noodles
10 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli
10 oz. pkg. frozen cauliflower
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook egg noodles in a large pot of boiling water just until al dente. Place frozen vegetables in a large colander, and drain noodles over the vegetables. Transfer the vegetables and noodles into a large bowl, and add chicken, soup, sour cream, onion and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Serves 6-8.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

This may just be my new favorite muffin. My old favorites were bran and pumpkin, but this has BOTH!!! Pumpkin AND bran! They are delicious, and nutritious!

Start by pouring the cereals into a large mixing bowl and covering with the milk.

Let it sit for a few minutes so that the cereal softens. In the meantime, combine the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

To the cereal mixture, add the pumpkin

(mine looks weird cause it had been in the freezer; it's leftover from the sausage pumpkin pasta), egg and oil

and mix well. Stir in the raisins.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups with batter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool completely on a wire rack.

These freeze beautifully - so make plenty and you can pull them out of the freezer for a nutritious, convenient delicious breakfast!

Get more inspiration at Let's Do Brunch, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table , Tasty Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesday , Real Food Wednesday, This week's cravings.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 cups All Bran
1 1/4 cups Bran flake cereal (like Raisin Bran)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine the cereals, milk and pumpkin. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Stir in raisins.

Scoop batter into twelve muffin pan cups coated with cooking spray or lined with papers. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

Bake at 400° F about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 1 dozen.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Yum. Yum. Yum. This treat helps chase away the winter blues. Although this is a "coffee" cake and goes great with a hot drink for breakfast or a mid-morning break, it is also delicious served as dessert, warm with vanilla ice cream.

This recipe calls for a 10 oz package of frozen, sweetened stawberries. Instead, I used whole frozen strawberries (they come in a large bag from Costco!) and made my own sweetened version.

Combine the strawberries, sugar, water and cornstarch

in a medium saucepan. (If you're using frozen sweetened strawberries, you won't add the water or sugar.) Bring this to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until the mixture is thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon

and the almond extract.

For the cake, combine the flour, sugar

and butter

and cut in until crumbly. I use my food processor for this. Reserve 1/2 cup of this for the topping. To the remaining flour mixture, add the baking soda, baking powder and salt, then stir in the beaten egg

and the buttermilk just until moistened.

Spread 1 1/2 cups of the batter into a greased 8" dish.

Spread the strawberry mixture over the dough

then drop the remaining batter in spoonfuls over the strawberries.

Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture

then bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Find more great ideas at Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday, Cooking Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Sweet Tooth Friday, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen, Fun with Food Friday and Sweets for a Saturday, Let's Do Brunch, Ingredient Spotlight: Strawberries.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
(OR, use 10 oz. of whole strawberries, sliced, 1/4 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large saucepan, combine cornstarch and strawberries (and water and sugar if using). Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cinnamon and almond extract. Set aside.

In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Remove 1/2 cup and reserve for topping. To the rest of the flour mixture, add the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in buttermilk and egg just until moistened.

Spread 1 1/2 cups of batter into a greased 8" baking dish. Carefully top with the strawberry mixture. Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto the strawberries; sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Serves 9.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

It's been cold here for a long, long time. I love a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch or supper when the temps outside are in a perpetual state of freezing! This soup is creamy, but the creaminess comes from the pureed cauliflower and milk and not from cream or even 1/2 and 1/2; you'll be surprised how creamy and rich-tasting this is!

Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. They don't have to be perfectly even, much of it will get pureed eventually.

Saute the onion and butter in a Dutch oven.

Cook and stir until the onion is golden and tender; then add in the salt and flour.

Cook and stir for 1 minute, then add the chicken broth

water, and milk.

Add the cauliflower,

then bring to a boil;

reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Turn off the heat. Now, very carefully, use your immersion blender to puree some of the soup.

Puree it as much as you like - I don't like it velvety smooth; I like some chunks and bits. If you don't have an immersion blender, puree the soup in a regular blender in batches. Be sure to leave the middle part of the cover off so the steam escapes.

When it's pureed to your liking, add the mustard

and the cheese

and stir until the cheese melts. I like to garnish bowls of this soup with a bit more cheese and some freeze dried chives (or "real" if you have them!).

Get more great recipes at Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday , Delectable Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesday and Fabulous Food Friday.

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (1 14 1/2 oz. can)
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender and golden. Stir in flour and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Gradually stir in broth, milk and water. Add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10minutes. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until it is your desired texture. (Alternately, puree soup in batches in a standard blender.)

Add mustard and cheese; stir until melted and smooth. Garnish with additional cheese and chives, if you like.

Makes 8 first course servings or 5-6 main dish servings
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